Tuesday, August 31, 2004

Rising like a bird on fire...

You are Form 0, Phoenix: The Eternal.

"And The Phoenix's cycle had reached
zenith, so he consumed himself in fire. He
emerged from his own ashes, to be forever

Some examples of the Phoenix Form are Quetzalcoatl
(Aztec), Shiva (Indian), and Ra-Atum
The Phoenix is associated with the concept of life,
the number 0, and the element of fire.
His sign is the eclipsed sun.

As a member of Form 0, you are a determined
individual. You tend to keep your sense of
optomism, even through tough times and have a
positive outlook on most situations. You have
a way of looking at going through life as a
journey that you can constantly learn from.
Phoenixes are the best friends to have because
they cheer people up easily.

Which Mythological Form Are You?
brought to you by Quizilla

Teachers' Day.

So this is the one day in the year when all the little devils that we teach unpack all their angel guises, exchanging horns for halos and bestowing gifts that would count so much more if they handed in their homework.
Then again, I'm enjoying myself today...after all, it's teachers' day.
Meanwhile, spoils for the day so far (Circa 9am) are, one small bag of cookies, a brands essence of chicken bottle filled with folded paper stars and a CD pouch shaped like a huge cheeseburger...I especially like the last one as through happy coincidence, the boy managed to get me something shaped like my favourite food.
Also a shout out to students who have chanced upon my little corner of the web, "Hey!"
I am also warming up the voice for my vocal performance today at HRC. :P

Thursday, August 26, 2004


Tired. Cranky. Tired.
That basically describes me at the moment. I've been swamped recently. With work, setting the exam papers (and subsequent answer scheme) as well as my marking.
I've been so out of it lately...but I've been afloat. At least there's teacher's day next week to look forward to. Then I can catch up...with...my...marking...
Bloody 'ell.
Can't wait for school to end.

Sunday, August 22, 2004

Slouching Toward Bethlehem.

Well, my government has done it again, once again proving my lowered expectations of them. And to think our PM was doing SO well up to the point when he tripped and dropped the ball.
Well, there's no pleasing everyone I guess...time to move to Canada.

Thursday, August 19, 2004

Change is good.

This is the way Singapore changes
This is the way Singapore changes
This is the way Singapore changes
Not with a bang but with a whimper.
~Inspired by T.S. Eliot off CATchup's Blog.

Monday, August 16, 2004

Nothing but a long line painted yellow

Longer maternity leave but it will be flexible
MATERNITY leave will be extended but kept 'flexible' to avoid disruption to employers and uncertainty for employees, Minister for Trade and Industry Lim Hng Kiang said on Sunday.
Details of the 'comprehensive and practical package' will be revealed in the Prime Minister's speech for the National Day Rally on Aug 22.
The package was put up by a steering committee of ministers and MPs headed by Mr Lim to look at ways to boost Singapore's fertility rate, and the decision was made after much consultation with workers, employers and unions.
'Although an extended maternity leave is very much welcomed, it may cause disruption to the employers and uncertainty to employees. So we've come up with a more practical arrangement; maternity leave will be extended but the arrangement will be more flexible,' he told reporters at a National Day Observance Ceremony organised by the Telok Blangah Citizens' Consultative Committee (CCC).

In Singapore speak this means that women should have the option to extend their maternity but it will be frowned upon by their employers. i.e. When women choose to take a longer maternity, their employers will have the freedom to dump them to the bottom of the pile when it comes down to promotions because the "really hardworking ones" will actually choose to report to work the day after they have their babies.
What a weak/lame-ass stance the government is taking. The middle ground. To avoid the stepping on the toes and to push the buck. If change is to be effected, why not make the damn changes? Why take such a bloody cowardly stance? You want the people to change their mindsets? Lead them! There's a whole country that's been too afraid to step out and make the changes in their lives that we all know we need to, and there's the freakin' reason.
Leaders lead. That's why you're in the bloody seats. You want more babies? Give us time to raise them the way we need to! You wish for us to take parenting more seriously? Allow us to do so and sanction parenthood so that the assholes who are in middle management understand that our jobs must never be prioritised over our families. Don't take the middle road and send the message that you're too damn scared to make the changes in mindset that you want to see! It confuses the brain-challenged bureaucrats that may interpret it as "women really shouldn't NEED to take longer maternities, but if they wish to, we can't really stop them..." It requires interpretation that most of them are totally incapable of. (along with independent thought and empathy...)
I agree with Anoises, that our people are capable of independent thought. But then our little culture here in our bloody country's held our lives, our families and our minds hostage with hidden threats. There's been a culture of fear that's been bred within us that keeps us in our place. Sure, we can rebel, but to what end? I think that we'd need a demonstration of esplanade breastfeeding proportions to nail the point home, maybe a mass exodus of pregnant women to Canada, where maternity leave is a Singapore-mind blowing 13 months, and maybe then our darling leaders will finally get the bloody message.
In the meantime, so much for the damn changes they wished to make. Go ahead, you yellow livered chickenshits. Lead us into our "new Singapore". I'll watch you whimper and kowtow your way in and I'll probably laugh at your prostrated forms, just as I always have.

One may wonder why I'm so damn anti-Singapore. I'm not. I love my country but with all these promises that are made and broken, it gets disheartening. All this potential to do something great that's wasted and flushed down the toilet. It all breaks my heart. It's like loving a woman who always cheats on you...there's a point in time when you finally break down and break up. I wouldn't rant if I didn't care.
Thus, I end with a quote from The West Wing that would summarise my feelings quite adequately.

You ran great guns in the campaign. It was an insurgency, boy, a sight to see. And then you drove to the middle of the road the moment after you took the oath. Just the middle of the road. Nothing but a long line painted yellow.

Excuse me, sir...

I wanted to retire five years ago. But I waited for a Democrat. I wanted a Democrat.
Hmm! And instead I got you."

Saturday, August 14, 2004

Wedding Dreams.

This is something that I dreamed some time before the wedding, a memory that was triggered by Yuhui's own weird wedding dream. Well it wasn't as weird as his but I think it ranks up there with my going-to-school-without-my-pants dream.

I was at the church and I thought that I was there for the rehearsal, final or otherwise. I was in my usual wear, berms and t-shirt. JL was there with me and he was telling me all the things that I needed to get ready, the rings, the vows etc. I suddenly realised that the church was beginning to fill up with more people than was expected with a rehearsal, and they were all more well dressed than I was. Then, JL picked up his bag and said that he was going to change. I had a major wig and the sinking feeling that I had forgotten to buy my suit. JL returned all dressed up in a suit that I got for him and the rest of my best men started showing up. JL asked if I wanted him to run down to G2000 to pick a suit off the rack for me and I was actually considering the offer when my dad showed up.
He had this really cool mandarin collar jacket that was, for some reason or another, ivory and embroided with a chinese dragon. He took a look at me and then asked if I wanted to borrow his suit. That was when the processional started and S walked in...

The dreams evolved as the wedding drew closer and my state of unpreparedness lessened by degrees till the last dream before the wedding was the one that I had everything except my shoes.
Talk about your subconscious manifestations of your own insecurities. :P

Friday, August 06, 2004

Chucking a Mental.

So I'm trying to croak through my instructions for handing in their overdue assignments...going to the extent to allow those little twits to hand it in to me tonight at the concert...
And then I see the lot of them at the back of the class building a bloody structure out of cans of horlicks. Aaargh!
So, after a horlicks massacre where there was much mayhem and bowling with chairs, along with at least 1 horlicks casualty, the little nitwits get no exemption off their comprehension lateness and a whole 20% off tomorrow.
The little vein in my head's going to stop throbbing someday, I hope.
This, according to an ex-girlfriend of mine, was called chucking a mental. I had no idea what it meant till I got into teaching, where I think my brain finds it compulsory to chuck a mental once every term. I think the imagery in that term actually is quite effective.

So today, I have chucked a mental for term 3.


So my voice is gone.
The reason? Simple: The 'C' Division Rugby finals.
Now, most would ask why I continually do this to myself, especially on the eve of a lesson observation, and to those I would simply shrug and say:

"It's AC rugby."

Despite the fact that I continually gripe about my school situation and all that jazz, I still love my school. It's weird, really. I think that for most of my school life I never really participated in any matches or even played in any games. Sports were, as far as I was concerned, never in the grasp of my rather uncoordinated hands. I literally could never catch the ball.
But rugby finals...that was something. Standing in the stands, cheering till my voice gave out, it always made me feel like I belonged. If not to the sport, then to something that was larger than myself. I felt the pain of a loss and the ecstasy that came with victory. It was sublime. It still is.
I swore that I wouldn't do this to myself again, but standing up in the stands with my boys, shouting and cheering, I felt like I was back in school again.

And it felt really good.
So croak croak.

Tuesday, August 03, 2004

Our Nation, Our Songs.

"These songs are so ingrained in our hearts and minds,
They can truly be called Singapore Songs - Our Songs..."

"You gotta do it, you gotta do it your way." ~ J. Lopez.

"Isn't it Ironic?" ~ A. Morissette

Funny that our nation, all too eager to find it's own identity, proudly proclaims the abovementioned statement on our official NDP (Nat'l Day Parade) website and borrows a song that states that "we gotta do it our way". There's also a really unsettling feeling when what's obviously a choir tries to belt out a J.Lo song. They do quite well until they get to actually singing it. The song loses it's attitude and as a rallying cry, it really whimpers...Try downloading version 1 and cringe as Singaporeans sing Latino.
I really thought we were getting a hang of writing relatively good National Day songs...The ones from the past 3 years have been actually quite listen-able. (I am a closet Singapore song junkie actually...) Pity that there's a drought this year. Was there no good songwriting for 2004?
It really gets you thinking, if a nation that spends all this time looking for it's national identity finally gives up the ghost and rehashes songs from the past, does that mean that it's found itself? Or has it given up?
I personally feel that there will never be a fixed Singaporean identity...at least not one that we'd proudly proclaim to the world. There's a certain pride in coming from a nation that manages to adapt to changes by constantly undergoing transformation. We don't have history to burden us, nor any sense of sentimentalism. There's a certain resignation when all that is taken out of our hands and what's left is the proverbial note that says "Deal!". So we deal.
We don't have a Singaporean culture because whatever we are is borrowed. We are the people who see a nice showflat and copy. We take and assimilate and thus, our culture is Rojak. It's from all over the place and I think that we should celebrate it. Why lament the fact that we lack the local? Why not celebrate the mish mash that we are?
All that said, I still think that Singaporeans singing J.Lo = BIG nono.

*By the way...this would be my 100th post. Yay!

Monday, August 02, 2004

Intrusions and other newsances.

Imagine walking past a shop and having a advertisement flash onto your phone. That's what 3G'll get you.
Shyeah right. Like we need more ads in our lives. I can't imagine who could be so dumb as to imagine that we'd like more spam invading our personal space. Gah! It's bad enough that there're stupid ads playing in MRT stations and on our buses, it's gotten to the point where I receive irritating mails selling viagra in my school mailbox.
Technology's supposed to make our lives easier, freeing us to do other more meaningful things. Instead, I'm going to have to listen to my phone selling me yet another timeshare, my clothes threatening to disintegrate unless I upgrade my mobile and my shoes'll walk me straight into a starbucks.

This would all be pre lesson ob ranting by the way...
A preview for my next post, Plastic Surgeons will save the world.